Saturday, June 18, 2011

Alpine Baguettes - Alpler Baguette

These wonderful baguettes by Clemens Walch who has a bakery at the base of a ski slope in Lech in the beautiful Austrian Alps are so good that Daniel Leader included the recipe in his book Local Breads. I was drawn to this bread because of my favourite mixture of seeds in the dough, mainly sunflower, pumpkin, flax and sesame along with some rolled oats.

The seeds and rolled oats are soaked the night before to plump up and soften.

The recipe has a small amount of German rye sourdough which gives the bread a slight tang. Daniel Leader gives instruction for developing a rye sourdough culture but I have to admit that I cheated here. Making his rye sourdough culture from scratch would have meant waiting for almost two weeks to develop and I just didn't have the patience for that so I used my regular sourdough culture and refreshed it a couple of times with rye flour and water. By then there was enough rye flour in the culture that I was pretty confident that it would work as well.

The one problem I found in the recipe was the high hydration. The dough was quite wet and even after 15 minutes of mixing with the KitchenAid the gluten wasn't developing as I thought it should. I will confess that I ran out of bread flour and had to use unbleached flour so this may have caused the problem but I just added more flour along with a handful of rye flour and the dough came together just fine. It still had to be poured out of the mixer into a rising container but after a two hour rise it was manageable on a well floured surface. Next time I'll try decreasing the amount of water used to soaked the seeds and oats. I preshaped the divided dough by folding rectangles of dough into thirds and allowed them to rest covered for 10 minutes.

After the rest they were easily shaped into long baguettes, covered and allowed to rise for another 40 minutes or until they looked puffy and light.

They baked up beautifully and they crackled nicely when they were removed from the oven, a sign that they were ready.

This recipe is definately a keeper, as a matter of fact I now keep a rye culture in my fridge along with the regular sourdough culture.

The crumb is lovely and toothsome with a nice crisp crust. The only complaint I had with this bread was that there was not enough salt for my taste, so next time I'll have to remember to add a bit more salt and it will be perfect. I really like this bread alot.

Alpine Baguettes

Yield: 3 thick baguettes, ~12 inches long (368 g each)

100 g mature, 100% hydration rye sourdough
28 g rolled oats
28 g sunflower seeds
28 g pumpkin seeds
28 g flax seeds
28 g sesame seeds
525 g water, divided
5 g instant yeast
500 g unbleached bread flour
10 g sea salt
Refresh the rye sourdough 12 to 24 hours before mixing. Also, pour the rolled oats and seeds into a bowl and cover them with 175 g water. Soak them overnight, so that they swell and soften.

When you are ready to mix the final dough, pour the remaining 350 g water into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast, bread flour, soaked oasts and seeds, and salt with a rubber spatula. Stir down the rye sourdough and add it to the mixture. Stir well to combine.

Use the dough hook and mix the dough on medium-low speed (3 on a KitchenAid mixer) for 8 minutes. Turn off the machine and scrape the hook and the sides of the bowl. Drape a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and let it rest in the bowl for 10 minutes. Turn the mixer back on to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth, silky, and elastic 5 to 7 minutes more.

Transfer the dough to an oiled container. Cover it and let is rise until it has doubled in volume (2 to 2 1/2 hours).

An hour before baking preheat the oven to 450 F with a baking stone and steam pan.

Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Flatten one piece of dough into a rectangle and fold it into thirds like a business letter. Turn it smooth side up. Repeat this process with the other two pieces. Cover the piece lightly and let rest on the counter for 10 minutes.

Shape the pieces of dough into a baguette about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Dust a piece of parchment paper with flour and place the baguettes on it, seam side down, about three inches apart. Cover lightly. Proof the baguettes at room temperature until they are puffy and light, 30-40 minutes.

Slide the baguettes into the oven. Bake them with steam for 10-15 minutes and without steam for another 10-15. Turn the oven off and leave the baguettes in for another 5-10 minutes. Let the loaves cool for at least 30 minutes on a wire rack. These are delicious enjoyed warm.


Chiara said...

bellissima ricetta cara Oriana, sembra un pane buonissimo! Buona domenica!

doughadear said...

Ciao Chiara
Era veramente buono!

Sandra said...

The rye thing still hasn't completely won me over, but I am slowly warming up to it. Absolutely lovely looking loaves.

doughadear said...

Hello Sandra
I think you would like these. I'm not a huge fan of rye either but in small doses I don't mind it all. These were so good that I would make them again.